Practice Relating to Rule 147. Reprisals against Protected Objects
Section D. Objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands, in a chapter dealing with reprisals and referring, inter alia
, to Article 54 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, states: “No reprisals may be undertaken against objects indispensable for the survival of the civilian population (inter alia
, foodstuffs, crops, livestock and drinking water installations).”
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
In the history of warfare, reprisals carried out have often exceeded the set limits. This has led to the current prohibition, in the humanitarian law of war and specifically in AP I [1977 Additional Protocol I], of reprisals against several groups of people and objects.
The following are now forbidden as reprisals:
- attacks on objects essential to the survival of the civilian population (including foodstuffs, crops, livestock and drinking water installations).
In its chapter on behaviour in battle, the manual states: “Reprisals may not be undertaken against objects essential to the survival of the civilian population.”
In its chapter on the protection of the civilian population, the manual states that “reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited”.